Project Details


Bulimia nervosa is a health-threatening, emotional disorder involving the
loss of control over food intake (binge eating) followed by self-induced
vomiting in normal weight individuals (typically women).
Cognitive-behavioral treatments have shown considerable promise in the
treatment of this disorder, although controlled studies with adequate
long-term follow-up and systematic analysis of relapse rates are lacking.
The present proposal seeks to remedy this lack of evaluation. The PI has
developed a cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) program that has produced
encouraging findings with predominantly young, college age women. The
existing literature about the treatment of older, more chronic cases is
conflicting, and this proposal provides the first experimental comparison
of the treatment of younger versus older (more chronic) patients. In
treating these two sub-groups of bulimics, the PI's CBT approach will be
compared with A. Lazarus' technical eclecticism (TE), a broader form of
psychotherapy, and a minimal treatment condition. It may be that TE, with
its broader focus, will prove more effective than CBT with the more chronic
and more disturbed patients. Within the CBT treatment, a novel vicarious
learning method for overcoming patient resistance to the use of the
technique of exposure and vomit prevention will be evaluated. Within the
context of this outcome study, detailed analyses will be made of competing
theories of the mechanisms responsible for therapeutic success and
failure. The CBT and TE treatments make specific predictions about
long-term maintenance of improvement. Particular emphasis is placed on
facilitating and assessing long-term improvement with a view to testing the
respective theories of relapse prevention.
Effective start/end date7/1/866/30/87


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)

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